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Which Car Wax Should I Use?

As you delve deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole of automotive detailing, you will find that there are many different types of products that all seem to do exactly the same thing. This is most common with products that protect your paint. Most of the time, it is not just outlandish claims for the sake of marketing. There is actually some truth to it all, even if it all may seem a bit exaggerated. The truth is, there are different waxes for different climates, types of paint, colors of paint, desired gloss, durability, etc.

You have probably heard many claims for different types of waxes and sealants and are wondering exactly which one is the right choice for your situation. Let us break down the different types of waxes you may have come across and their pros and cons. Then you can decide for yourself which of them best fits your needs!

We will rank each on a scale of 1-5 (1 being bad and 5 being good) in the following areas:

Ease of application
Lifetime of protection
Cost
Level of gloss


Carnauba Paste Wax

Carnauba paste waxes are probably the oldest because they use mainly natural ingredients as opposed to what you may find in the more modern paint protection products on the market today. The name sake of this type of wax, "carnauba" is a naturally occurring wax that forms on the leave of the Copernicia prunifera in Brazil. This wax protects the leaves from all sorts of environmental threats and make sure that they can keep on collecting sunlight.

This carnauba can do the same for your car's paint that it does for the leaves of that Brazilian palm tree! After it has been harvested, refined, and mixed with ingredients that make it more malleable and easier to spread, you can apply it to your paint. Once on there, it will provide protection from rain, snow, sleet, dirt, mud, UV rays, and many other threats.

The most notable effect of this carnauba is how it reacts with light to create a glossy look on your car's paint. While it is hard to describe a sight, many have said that carnauba gives your paint "a warm, deep gloss" and is preferred for show cars.

If you think this is the right choice for you, check out our BLACKFIRE Midnight Sun Carnauba Paste Wax!

Ease of application: 2
Lifetime of protection: 4
Cost: 2
Level of gloss: 5


Liquid Carnauba Wax

Much like its pasty brethren, the liquid carnauba wax is formulated using natural carnauba. The liquid consistency of it allows for an easier application and a more level finish, since liquid is self-leveling. The trade off however is that they tend to not last as long. This is because carnauba is a very hard substance, so in order to allow it to reach liquid form, they need to dilute it more and add more of the ingredients that make it malleable.

Because it has a lower carnauba concentration, it wears away faster. The liquid consistency spreads that carnauba across the whole surface evenly, so because there is less carnauba, that layer of carnauba is thinner. This means that it can't take as much wear before it is gone completely.

However, it will still provide that "warm and deep" gloss that carnauba waxes are known for. Even though there is a thinner layer of carnauba, this doesn't affect the way it reflects light.

Ease of application: 3
Lifetime of protection: 3
Cost: 3
Level of gloss: 5


Carnauba Spray Wax

Carnauba spray waxes are the next step in sacrificing durability for ease of use. In carnauba spray waxes, the carnauba is diluted to the point where it can literally be sprayed on the surface and simply needs to be spread across. You will likely be able to completely wax your entire car in 15 minutes or less.

However, that comes with the trade off of having a greatly reduced lifetime because the carnauba layer is now very thin due to having to dilute the carnauba enough to make it sprayable. Many people do not use this as a primary protection product and will usually just use it after washes to extend the lifetime of their previously applied wax.

However, as you have likely guessed by now, you will still get that renown "carnauba glow"! These waxes are great for touch ups or if you'd rather wax more often, but spend less time doing it when you do.

If you think this is the right choice for you, check out our BLACKFIRE Carnauba Spray Wax!

Ease of application: 4
Lifetime of protection: 2
Cost: 4
Level of gloss: 4


Carnauba Wash & Wax

These are probably the most convenient options when deciding which wax to use. Since you will be washing your car every week or so (or at least you should be!), you would be killing two birds with one stone by using a wash & wax. These products are essentially a car shampoo that contain carnauba as well as your standard shampoo lubricating agents and cleaner agents. This means that it will leave behind a thin layer of protection after the wash.

Like with the spray wax, they generally contain very little actual carnauba because they need to dilute it enough to allow for the more important shampooing ingredients. Because of that, this is also usually just used to extend the lifetime of your previously applied wax rather than as a stand-alone product.

Still, carnauba is carnauba, so can definitely expect a "warm, deep carnauba glow"!

If you think this is the right choice for you, check out our BLACKFIRE Carnauba Wash & Wax!

Ease of application: 5
Lifetime of protection: 1
Cost: 5
Level of gloss: 3


Montan Paste Wax


The difference between a montan wax and carnauba wax is the main ingredient. Carnauba waxes use carnauba, whereas montan waxes use montan (pretty self-explanatory, we know). Montan is not as naturally forming as carnauba is. In fact, it is obtained from lignite by using solvent extraction.

It creates a great defensive barrier once it hardens. However, because it has a darker color, it is best to use on darker-colored vehicles where it will not reduce the vibrancy of the bright paint. This however is a bonus on darker vehicles because it deepens the color of your paint. This darker tint also allows it to block more UV rays and protect your paint from dulling over time!

Much like carnauba, montan needs to be refined, diluted, and mixed before it is useable as a car wax. Montan wax tends to be a bit more durable than carnauba wax though, allowing for an extended product lifetime and slightly increased level of protection. Montan waxes are known to have a less apparent level of gloss, but they will still make your car look sleek and wet in their own right!

If you think this is the right choice for you, check out our BLACKFIRE Montan Paste Wax!

Ease of application: 2
Lifetime of protection: 5
Cost: 2
Level of gloss: 4


Liquid Montan Wax

As they have done with carnauba waxes, so they have done with montan waxes. By further diluting the level of montan in the wax itself, they are able to make it more malleable and easier to apply. You just won't get as long of a product lifetime.

All the other positive characteristics remain though, the added UV protection, the sleek and wet gloss, and the deeper color for dark-colored vehicles!

If you think this is the right choice for you, check out our BLACKFIRE Montan Liquid Wax!

Ease of application: 3
Lifetime of protection: 4
Cost: 3
Level of gloss: 4